27 Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam Entertainment Cruise Reviews

I have never experienced a more boring cruise than this one. The same selected songs got replayed over and over and over until my head hurt. Some crew members seemed like they didn’t really want to be there, some had attitudes or ... Read More
I have never experienced a more boring cruise than this one. The same selected songs got replayed over and over and over until my head hurt. Some crew members seemed like they didn’t really want to be there, some had attitudes or didn’t want to help. The 3 crew members that stood out to me were Ruel, Nissan and this one guy that i don’t remember his name but he was usually in the icecream station, very nice and kind people. The comedians that were there said some offensive things to the point where people wouldn’t even laugh. Things are barely announced, you never really know about things unless you ask a million questions. Things are also super expensive, when in others you can find them for way more reasonable prices. I can say the best thing there was the wide selection of great movies in the room, where I mostly spent my time because of how boring the ship is. Also, our bathroom smelled STRONGLY like urine when we got to the room. We notified Nissan and he said he’d clean it more but when we came back it still smelled horrible, it stayed that way the whole voyage. The disembarkation took longer than it should’ve, they kept saying there was a delay. There’s only 2 complimentary restaurants, everything else is money money and more money. All you could drink was water, super watery lemonade or no flavor whatsoever “iced tea”. I was so happy to come back home, will most likely never again step a foot on their cruises. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise to see what Holland America has to offer versus other cruise lines. Long story short, we will never sail with HAL again. We are a retired couple in our late 60's, We had heard that HAL was for the ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see what Holland America has to offer versus other cruise lines. Long story short, we will never sail with HAL again. We are a retired couple in our late 60's, We had heard that HAL was for the "older" crowd and we figured we would fit right in. If you want to spend your cruise knitting or gazing at the ocean, it is a nice, clean ship. If you are looking for some music, some activity and a younger-at-heart crowd, this boat is not for you. Embarkation was quick. Our balcony cabin was a good size with lots of storage space. The bathroom was an adequate size and included a bath tub. The room was attended to twice daily and kept immaculate. The buffet restaurant was crowded and sometimes difficult to find a seat. The buffet items are not labeled so we didn't know what a lot of items were and when we asked, the servers would point to a sign showing what was on the menu for the day. That didn't help a bit. The buffet had wo sides and often there were different items on each side. Many times one side would be closed while the other was open so it was a guess to figure out which side to walk to. The food was just okay but often there were meals that had nothing appealing to us. Pizza on the pool deck was not bad but not great either. I guess we were comparing to other ships we had eaten pizza on (i.e.RCI, Norwegian) Ice cream was served daily and mostly chocolate, vanilla and strawberry with the soft serve machine being empty every time I wanted some. Entertainment: TERRIBLE! Some nights there was NOTHING in the form of entertainment. We saw a comedian that was anything but funny. The illusionist was pretty good but the show was too short for him to perform anything spectacular. The one show they had was a contemporary dance group. The dancers and special effects were good but again, nothing spectacular. BB King Lounge was crowded at night with a Blues group that played the same music and a dance floor that not many danced on. The band had zero personality...very boring. During the day the activities consisted of things such as "losing ten pounds" (like I am interested in my diet on a cruise), how to whiten your teeth, how to cook (in their "test kitchen") and Microsoft classes. We opted for the Microsoft classes which were actually quite informative but not what I had planned to do on a cruise. I felt like I was on a senior citizen cruise with the average age about 70. Think twice about choosing HAL if you are at all active and looking for some fun. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was a charter, Malt Shop Memories, my 4th one. It's a 7d cruise, you go on for the entertainment. It's very pricey, you hope to meet the stars, singers etc. The surprise is how inaccessible The Beach Boys & Smokey ... Read More
This was a charter, Malt Shop Memories, my 4th one. It's a 7d cruise, you go on for the entertainment. It's very pricey, you hope to meet the stars, singers etc. The surprise is how inaccessible The Beach Boys & Smokey were, & how good/friendly the back up bands/acts were. Brooklyn Bridge (Jimmy Rosica :D) , Zmed Brothers/Everly tribute artists (wow!), Joey Dee (yay), Chris Montez, Sounds of the Street (hi Eddie & Lou), Hall of Fame, Britbeat/Beatles tribute artists, all tremendous! Approachable & talkative, loved pics w/them, sooo talented. I didn't do any shore excursions on the 2 port days, just enjoyed walking around St Maarten & Antigua. Magnets, shirts, & pics were plenty. There were so many on board activities, you had to leave Britbeat to run to Elvis, for example. Really enjoyed the music trivia & Wheel of Fortune games put on by my travel agents, Jim & Steve Hitmakers Cruises. They do a lot of music cruises & are great fun. Jason Venner was a wonderful cruise host, always a high spot. The other surprise was the food in Lido was a little blander than before, not as tasty, not as many choices. And the staff goes so fast to put so much on the plate, even when you're saying, just a little, not so much etc. Don't want to waste it! The dining room now has open seating so as a solo traveler it was harder to know where to sit. Ended up not dining there, stayed w/Lido. Cabin attendants were competent & friendly too, no problems there. Daniel at front desk was big help w/medical problem, directed us well. Robert & Vivien at photo hall were delightful & funny. Finally, embarkation & disembarkation were extremely smooth, no hassle, loved it, right onto Escot. Star Vista rocks! :D Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Our trip consisted of a group of 8, all arriving from different destinations across Canada. We had a house rented in Fort Lauderdale for 3 days before the cruise, a lovely home within walking distance to the beach. Good thing we had 3 ... Read More
Our trip consisted of a group of 8, all arriving from different destinations across Canada. We had a house rented in Fort Lauderdale for 3 days before the cruise, a lovely home within walking distance to the beach. Good thing we had 3 days, because of weather we where delayed by over 24 hours. We embarked the ship in groups and met up in the buffet for lunch. Our bags arrived quicker than expected, so we sorted ourselves out, then went for a group party in one stateroom. We where on decks 4, 6,8. And we where very happy on deck 4. Turns out to be a good location to scoot out for the safety drill, a nice walk around deck 3, and also easy to run up to deck 3 if there was something to grab a photo of. We kept the tv on in our room when we where there, tuned to the forward cameras. Loved the option of viewing the Canal crossing on the TV, that was a long hot day. Every morning we enjoyed the buffet. You can’t go wrong, everything you can imagine plus some extra surprises. Lunch was by the pool at the burger place, or pizza. We only attended tea in the afternoon one day, but it was a very nice treat. Dinner we had a group table in the dining room for 8. We didn’t dine there every night, but made sure we all attended the gala nights. Other times we tried some of the different specialty restaurants available. The Pinnacle was a dinner that made you feel like you won the lotto. But our true favourite was the Tamarind. The staff made the dinner fun, and you felt truly welcomed. Plus the exceptional food, and presentation, made it a feast for the eyes. Most days, pre dinner, we attended the martini tasting, or the happy hour in the various bars. But be pre warned, the happy hour bars get full fast. We had beverage cards, so we didn’t worry about happy hour pricing. And I am glad we did, the cards where good for everything we wanted to drink, from sparkling water, to special coffees ,and drinks all around. Every day we had wonderful coffees made in the exploration area, the staff there knew your name and coffee within days. Days we didn’t go on excursions, we spent at the pool, loved the unobtrusive music. But there does need to be more shady areas. We found often people pulling chairs into doorways for shade, but that made it very inconvenient for others. Our group had all been at most of the locations on this cruise, so we didn’t depart at every port. But we really enjoyed the small markets they set up by the ship, for those who just want to purchase a souvenir. The casino was very quiet the entire trip, we did go to the bar there and lost some money at the machines. They did have some very nice piano players there as well . After dinner, it was usually a walk around deck 3 , before seeing what was on the show that night. Most nights we didn’t stay, we all found the entertainment to be lacking, the jazz band was not a group to dance to, so most just sat and listened. We all loved the national Geographic show, with the live performance. Disembarkation was a slow process, they called groups by colour, and there was even colours called that were not on the list, we where close to last. The whole finding your suitcase thing and getting in line , seemed confusing for some. Enjoyed a lovely night in San Diego before flying home. Staff who made this trip memorable: Jerry and Jenny in the martini bar. Janny in the exportation cafe. My perfect mocha. Abdul and Made who made our cabin home. Miguel and Joel who had the wine knowledge. Wayo, Davee, who served table 91 with grace. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
WE sailed the Feb 24 sailing. We had sailed this ship in 2016 in Alaska and were pleased. This ship has since been thru a refurb and I noticed all new carpet, they reconfigured a few areas but basically seemed the same. We basically ... Read More
WE sailed the Feb 24 sailing. We had sailed this ship in 2016 in Alaska and were pleased. This ship has since been thru a refurb and I noticed all new carpet, they reconfigured a few areas but basically seemed the same. We basically were looking for the least expensive balcony cabin during Feb and came across this one and chose it. The weather the week we went was fantastic. What we noticed was an older crowd which we were expecting. WE are 62 and 67 so not teenagers but we seemed ALOT younger than most of the passengers. Everyone we encountered were friendly passengers and crew. We ate dinner in the Main Dining room. WE found the portions to be smaller than we remembered and you cannot order 2 entrees without an additonal $10 upcharge. THis is fine with me as I dont think anyone will go hungry on a cruise! 3 people at our table one night all had to send back the red snapper as it was literally like a piece of rubber and we could not even cut it. THe deserts were average. The entertainment was sub par in the main theatre but the BBKing band saved the cruise for us. They were fantastic. They announced this was their first week together so I can only imagine how they will evolve over time. WE found no music by the pools not even any piped in which made for a very "non festive" atmosphere. We were happy to get out of the Midwest for a week but will probably not sail Holland America again unless there is a deal we cannot resist. This was our 17th cruise and we find pros and cons on all the lines we have been on. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Choose this cruise as a last minute, 7 day NYE getaway with family group. We knew HAL is reputed to cater to more mature cruisers so with that knowledge the young adult members of our group of 9 were not overly impressed. They did find ... Read More
Choose this cruise as a last minute, 7 day NYE getaway with family group. We knew HAL is reputed to cater to more mature cruisers so with that knowledge the young adult members of our group of 9 were not overly impressed. They did find enough to keep them entertained in casino & on New Years Eve. The ship was clean and nicely furnished but nothing that really awed me. Food was average, but like most lines, the food has gone down in quality since catering to pay for dining rooms. Room service was good. Service was very good & staff was friendly. I found it more difficult to get port information as I could not make their info session on stage. Most ships I have been on have a TV channel devoted to ports of call, but i couldn't locate one on this ship. In room movie selection was very good. We loved the piano bar & it's proximity to the casino. I did find the atmosphere on the ship relaxing. I have been on 5 other HAL cruises & think they are a good value but not a lot of bells & whistles, especially on the pool decks like many of the other lines. I like the size of their ships. Boarding was easy, but Ft. Lauderdale port is rather chaotic, especially with 7 other ships there. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
When we were looking to book a cruise, the review of between 4 and 4.5 attracted our attention, we also liked the displayed itinerary Holland American listed. We had a well maintained and spacious suite, access to the Neptune lounge was ... Read More
When we were looking to book a cruise, the review of between 4 and 4.5 attracted our attention, we also liked the displayed itinerary Holland American listed. We had a well maintained and spacious suite, access to the Neptune lounge was convenience, the fitness center though small but well kept with decent equipment. I just didn't like the limit selection and quality of their seafood (baby shrimp and tiny scallops). Some parts of the entertainment are good (BB King, comedy, 1000 step and other dancing shows), the timing were often conflicted with dinner time. The support staff comprised mainly of Filipino and Thai, while majority are great and so pleasant to converse with, we encountered a couple that were rude and condescending. We were unable to go to the last port at Half Moon Cay due to high waves, we agree that safety is important but feel that the company should at least try to compensate their clients for that portion. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
my husband has been wanting to sail to Alaska for years and we have been on at least 15 cruises so I finally gave in and I'm glad I did. Alaska was amazing however I will never sail Holland American again. the service was horrible. ... Read More
my husband has been wanting to sail to Alaska for years and we have been on at least 15 cruises so I finally gave in and I'm glad I did. Alaska was amazing however I will never sail Holland American again. the service was horrible. the staff was so unhappy and they showed it, I did have e good dining room server and one server in the casino that was nice but honestly that was it. I was shocked because service makes or breaks your experience. you could tell they did not want to be there. the food was mediocre to say the least, buffet was the same things over and over, dining room options and quality below par. to top it off they try to save on entertainment and had a show one evening called the Filipino cast show, I felt so sorry for them it was a train wreck. we will return to Alaska on a cruise but not on Holland America nor will I recommend it, if this was someone's first cruise I bet they would never go on another. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Dear all My room no. Is 8012 in ms nieuw amsterdam. 23rd June departure from vancouver There are several issues. Let me point out each one 1. I am pure Hindu vegetarian traveller. Before booking I had clearly asked that I need ... Read More
Dear all My room no. Is 8012 in ms nieuw amsterdam. 23rd June departure from vancouver There are several issues. Let me point out each one 1. I am pure Hindu vegetarian traveller. Before booking I had clearly asked that I need Indian vegetarian meal. I was clearly told yes Holland America is best vegetarian friendly. On coming the same turned to worst nightmare On first day of lunch it was told that there were less supply as new supply is being refilled and from tommorow you will get variety of food. Told ok no problem. Let's manage a day while all other had there full option to eat. From 2nd day the same is situation till day 6.either something is over or we will do tommorow but there is no tommorow than. Had Worst experience where I had taken a naan and just yogurt to each and tried to break naam with hand and in couldn't and than with teeth than too it was unbreakable. Given it to chef MR mani who told me this is hard one requested by guest but no guest request a UNBREAKABLE NAAN as it is to eat and not a sovenier at the room I was told daily to contact Mr mani and he will make seperate but my simple question is why we are not provided quality food and substandard is done between guest who complains and some they are normal and no complain gets the unbreakable naan. Matter reported to charnea guest manager at lido market. Most Indian on cruise if asked are satisfied than you can see the reply 15 are there in my group. The best person who eats in to most item in our group it wss also now fed up. There are no variety. I had complained on day 3rd breakfast where I had waited 1 hrs for a menu item before the steward came to me and told item is wrongly written and had complained to Denise who was manager for in room dining and she called chef Mr siva Kumar who says he is only one Indian chef and have 120 people to handle alone. There is no fault of him seems and so called Denise in front of Mr siva Kumar and told her what Mr siva said as this is fault of Holland America side that enough staff was not provided though clear booking was done with passport details nationality and even telling our food preference to booking agent. Even in Indian item. Name tags are not being put and the same counter is mixed with non vegetarian. 2nd greenhouse spa Offered hydro pool and thermal suite package at 219 per couple and was booked by me immediately on the day of embarkation and was told only last 4 space left 35 couple. 70 person is the max allowed. All good for 2 days and than came the day of skagway where board was kept for the same thing of 130 dollars which was only for skagway joining passengers but to my surprise they took booking from all the guests who boarded from Vancouver too and with bargained price of 90-100 dollars for couple. Right now there are much more than 70 persons and had told first day that I would only do it if the max cap of 70 is maintained. It is like public pool now and also with this bargain thing totally dissatisfied with working and demand a strong refund for the same. Also all general public is entering the hydro pool as the door is not kept closed 3rd room shower had fallen when it was turned on leg on first day of cruise which can't be allowed as it was not checked 4th room ac not working properly complained on first day is not resolved till date. 5th highly overcharged from exc tours. Don't buy they don't care for us Team to my surprise I found that white pass railway done by me through exc tours is also price higher than the price given on its official website Matter report to Mr lyron who was not ready to agree the fact first that it's overpriced. After giving him proof he have taken time and than comes with terms and conditions no where published. Mr lyron says this offer is only for online purchase and sent letter of terms which wasn't available online. no where that terms are published online Also if its for online only it should have been clearly written on main page This is program with Holland America that you try to earn 10 dollars more for anything and everything after normal profit and than just tell to read terms where nothing was told to us like this. Point 1 reported to Denise and charnea as well as guest manager Mr Jorn Point 2 reported to mr jorn who committed me to get back to me within next 24 hrs. Point 3 and 4 reported to housekeeping Point 5 reported to lyron exc manager on board Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
It was a surprise birthday gift.. It was in the planning process for 2 years by my adult children as a 80th birthday gift. I was totally surprised! We departed from Boston and went to Toronto, then from Toronto to Vancouver where we spent ... Read More
It was a surprise birthday gift.. It was in the planning process for 2 years by my adult children as a 80th birthday gift. I was totally surprised! We departed from Boston and went to Toronto, then from Toronto to Vancouver where we spent the night at the Metropolitan hotel. It is a very nice hotel and only a couple of blocks from the Canadian place where you board the ship.We walked down at 11:00 am and was thru customs and onboard in one hour. We had a tour of the ship and spent the rest of the day in the spa area. I was pampered by the spa girls with manicure, pedicure, facial, and a weeks worth of trips to the hydro pool. Everyone should have one in their back yard! The chairs that are heated are also a must have! I definitely would go again aboard this great ship. It is the best! The debarkment process was very organized and we were off in no time. We took a hop on hop of tour of the city,, which also transported our luggage to the airport hotel for us. After the tour we were given tickets for the sky train to the airport At the airport we stayed at the Hamilton hotel right inside airport where our luggage was waiting for us. A great relief not to have to worry about baggage.The hotel is very nice and very very convenient. Every airport should have a hotel in it. It makes those very early flights a little more enjoyable. I can't wait to go on another cruise! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Excellent accommodations in Neptune Suite 8162 (aft). Room stewards Agus and Putu were awesome! Concierge perks with Neptune level accommodation worth the extra money. Main dining room food was excellent. Dined at a table of 6 with ... Read More
Excellent accommodations in Neptune Suite 8162 (aft). Room stewards Agus and Putu were awesome! Concierge perks with Neptune level accommodation worth the extra money. Main dining room food was excellent. Dined at a table of 6 with great tablemates from Canada and Louisiana. Don't ask for a table for two. The experience of meeting other passengers is worth breaking out of your comfort zone for. Servers Libra and Hendri were also excellent. The Pinnacle Grill was great! The filet mignon was perfect. Worth the extra surcharge for dinner. We chose Holland America Line for the classic cruise line atmosphere and adult settings. Ambiance was great with the decor and art pieces throughout the ship. Don't miss the BBC Planet Earth live performance accompanied by the Lincoln Center Stage musical performers. Wish it was more than once. Took advantage of breakfast room service on the veranda every morning before shore excursions. No searching for a table in the Lido Market during peak hours. Seas were too choppy to take the tender boats to Half Moon Cay, so that was the only dissapointment of the trip. We had heard so many good things about the island and were looking forward to the excursion. Looking forward to future cruises on HAL exploring other itenieries. Signed, Future 5 Star Mariner Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We have previously sailed on Oceania and Crystal and choose HAL as an alternative to the luxury lines we've sailed on previously. We loved the newly updated ship and the size of the Neptune Suite. The Caribbean waters were ... Read More
We have previously sailed on Oceania and Crystal and choose HAL as an alternative to the luxury lines we've sailed on previously. We loved the newly updated ship and the size of the Neptune Suite. The Caribbean waters were wonderfully smooth and a brilliant blue. The Retreat cabana was a perfect retreat and the service in was fantastic. My only complaint was the food in the main dining room was salty and bland thankfully we spent the rest of the cruise eating in the specialty restaurants. The entertainment is exceptional and we went to the main stage every night for the late show. We'd cap off the night with a visit to the BB's Blues Club. The musicians were amazing and we enjoyed watching them. Finally, the private island, Half Moon Cay was perfect. We loved being alone on the island and had private bike/hike tour along with a relaxing day at the beach. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Positives: Service was excellent!! We arrived on the ship at 2pm, no lines and very smooth check in process. My husband and I loved our cabin, and our steward was exceptional. BB King's show was fabulous. The band and singers were ... Read More
Positives: Service was excellent!! We arrived on the ship at 2pm, no lines and very smooth check in process. My husband and I loved our cabin, and our steward was exceptional. BB King's show was fabulous. The band and singers were great. Danced to great Soul and Jazz numbers each night. Comedy show had us laughing out loud. Very, very funny! Plyed to the age group in the audience. This was an "Oprah Cruise". It was fun meeting the author of the latest book club entry, "An American Marriage". (Good book!) Negatives: Through no fault of the Captain's, we were unable to port in Amber Cove due to rough seas. We did have a nice day at sea though. The Billboard Bar is situated right next to the casino, we found it distracting as we listened to the piano players (who were very, very good). Food at the buffet was fine, nothing special. We ate in the dining room each night, this is where some improvement is needed in our opinion. Pasta choices were bland - steak was tough and left a lot to be desired. Other dishes were just so-so. Disembarking: We had a flight at 10:30am out of FLL - we were a little worried as they do not suggest you book a flight before 11:00am. We asked for "expedited" disembarking. Carried off our own luggage (kept in our room the night before), were off the ship by 7:45 grabbed a taxi (many waiting as we were one of the first off), 15 min ride to the airport. Fare was $17,00. We arrived at our gate at 8;30- 90 minutes before our flight began boarding at 10am. Plenty of time for us. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
POSITIVES: PERSONNEL: From a previous cruise we were elated to find “ricky” or ricardo working in the bb kings bar. you are very lucky to have someone with his skills, personality and ability to keep customers happy with ... Read More
POSITIVES: PERSONNEL: From a previous cruise we were elated to find “ricky” or ricardo working in the bb kings bar. you are very lucky to have someone with his skills, personality and ability to keep customers happy with everyone having a good time. what a pleasure! Someone who we have to talk about is walter at the mid-ship lido bar. my wife and would intentionally find where he was at just talk with him and laugh. more than i can count, we would be leaving and our jaws hurt from laughing and smiling. excellent! From a previous cruise we found eric, bartender. very friendly and always smiling and who was mainly in the ocean bar this time. Edward who was part of the bar-staff we had met on the koningsdam. pleasure and always friendly and ensuring we were having a good time. Additionally, the following Bar-Staff people who really made every day a pleasure; - JOCELYN – Bartender Aft LIDO Bar - jonniepher, dlarjone, kris zeth, ian, jeff lim were all outstanding waiters/waitresses!!! I want to mention janine rivera who was our wine steward in the dining room. very upbeat and always attentive. she was very knowledgeable about various wine pairing with our meals. we let her choose and it was fantastic!!! Our dining room wait staff were always above reproach! tom purwanto and his assistant roderick perez. One individual who worked the lido and tamarind was nila. she was always smiling and friendly and always wanted to ensure we were taken care of!!! very exceptional! Last but not least was our room stewards atim and miko. always happy, friendly and always ensured that we were taken care of. The entire crew onboard nieuw amsterdam was outstanding!!! from the first day mariner luncheon, room stewards, lido staff, dining room staff, guest services, future cruise consultant, bar-staff workers, bb kings all star band….everyone was always helpful, respectful asked how “we” the guests were doing. The lido. great! a good choice of foods to choose from. keep up the good work. The lido bar (mid ship and aft). as i mentioned above the bar staff was fantastic all the way around!! New york deli and dive in: both venues are very very good! Again no complaints. Bb kings: the band was very good and my wife and i really enjoy dancing to a live band! Embarkation/debarkation: i’m not sure how they did it, but from parking my car at the garage just before 11:00am we had baggage checked, checked in and on board and in our room by 12:15pm….wow!!! seamless and nice. the debarkation was just as good if not better. we checked for the 0830am to 0845am departure. they put us in blue group 3 for 0845. at 0845 they called our number and off we went. off the ship, through customs, across the street to get our car and we were heading home at 0920!!! again, wow!!! The pinnacle grill. excellent meal! the shrimp in my shrimp cocktail looked like small lobsters!!! better than good, great!!! Dining room. excellent food! no complaints. Main stage. unfortunately we never got to the main stage for a show. we preferred dancing at bb kings. NOT SO POSITIVES: Drinks package: i do have to mention one bartender at the mid-ship lido bar that we first went too after purchasing the elite drinks package on the first day. i never got his name but when we went to purchase our first drink with the package he told us that since we asked for the grapefruit cosmos with grey goose that we would be charged for 2 drinks each!! that made no sense. we tried to talk to him but he told us that we were wrong and would be charged to 2 drinks to get the upgraded vodka. we left and went to guest services desk to get the “real deal”. the bartender was wrong…we would only be charged for 1 drink each….that’s why you pay for the higher end drinks. anyways we never asked him for another drink the entire cruise and would not go a bar that he was at. none of the other bar-staff personnel had an issue. Ocean bar: to start with the ocean bar is laid out very well and the dance floor and band area are great, however where’s the music? the ship had 2 piano players that would play from 5pm to around 8pm. they both played music that you really couldn’t dance too and at times was played “very quietly”. when they did take a break, they would put a track of music on that you could barely hear, and wasn’t dance music we had ask for the music to be turned up, which it was but the again you really couldn’t dance to it. what is hal trying to do? get rid of dancing onboard? a couple of years ago hal had dancing with the stars at sea? The area to dance was fantastic but with no music why have the floor? we heard from over 40+ different passengers that wanted to either dance and/or watch people who could dance and didn’t understand either. I can say without a doubt (since it happened more than twice while onboard) that my wife and i went to the ocean bar right about 5pm. the ship had a “happy hour” going from 4 to 5pm and when we got there you couldn’t find a seat, either side of the ship. as soon as the piano player started to play the place cleared out! if there would have been “danceable” music, i.e., cha cha, rumba, foxtrot, waltz, bolero other passengers including us would have loved to have danced and that place would have stayed busy at least for an additional hour or so. instead, empty seats, empty bar. I would love to hear from hal the reasoning behind doing away with dancing. Line dance class: again this is about dancing. why teach a line dance where the ship provides no venue to utilize the dance taught? overall hal has an older clientele so why would they teach wobble, k-wang and biker shuffle? marcus the dj did start playing music after 11:30pm but with a small group left…i think you get the point. Bb kings all star band/queens lounge: this was the third all star band we’ve heard and overall they played very good. my issue, and other passengers too, was that the ship had chairs on the floor and left little to no room for dancing. other couples complained more than we did the first and second night and after that the staff would remove some rows of chairs to make more room for dancing. again is hal trying to do away with dancing onboard? why? it really does seem that way. Outdoor entertainment: our last 2 cruises had a steel drum player and lessons given on deck around the lido pool. it was nice to hear the back ground caribbean sounds. this ship, not so much. was this an oversight? what is hal doing? additionally, only a couple of times could you hear background music playing. Lack of activities: unless you really liked trivia there really wasn’t a whole lot going on. i did ask when i got on board about a hands on cooking class since i did one previously and really enjoyed it. we were told they only have cooking demonstrations, no hands on classes. we asked why but really didn’t get an answer. Lincoln center stage: this is something that for us is an “annoyance”. when we would walk out of the dining room and talking about whatever you run straight into a “keep quiet” sign and it’s like walking on egg shells to get by it. isn’t there another venue that can be closed off completely? that way the people listening to the players can enjoy and other passengers just transiting the ship don’t run into the “keep quiet” signs and feeling disruptive? just a thought. In conclusion we had a fantastic cruise and are looking forward to our next one!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This FAB cruise by Delbert MClinton's 24th Sandy Beaches Cruise was considered by most, the best vacation of their lives. The musical themed cruise had some of the best talent by The Mavericks, Marcia Ball, Wayne Toups, The McCrary ... Read More
This FAB cruise by Delbert MClinton's 24th Sandy Beaches Cruise was considered by most, the best vacation of their lives. The musical themed cruise had some of the best talent by The Mavericks, Marcia Ball, Wayne Toups, The McCrary sisters and Delbert McClinton;s Band just to name a few. Fans got to mingle up close with their favorite artists and felt like a big family. The Seaview pool was transformed into an outdoor theatre where most artists performed. Unfortunately, the weather from the start was not cooperating and venues had to held indoors. But after a few days, the weather improved and the outdoor performances were appreciated. The only port stop was in Antigua and it was a nice day to get off and explore this lovely caribbean island. Many have booked for next year's Sandy Beaches 25th Cruise to be held January 5-12,2019. Can't wait. Holland America has some of the best staff on board and I look forward to inter-acting with them to learn about their lives. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This sailing was specifically a Blues Cruise. So I can't address the normal entertainment & activities on the ship as they didn't apply. But the ship itself is lovely. Every public room and area was clean and well ... Read More
This sailing was specifically a Blues Cruise. So I can't address the normal entertainment & activities on the ship as they didn't apply. But the ship itself is lovely. Every public room and area was clean and well appointed. The public art work was varied, unique, and stunning. We took an inside cabin (wanted the darkness so we could sleep!), and were surprised by how spacious & nicely decorated it was, & it had a great location. Dining - presumably the most important part of any cruise! We couldn't believe how well organized the Lido deck buffet was, as was the variety & quality of the food. Instead of the passengers just digging into the food line, it was graciously served to you, thus controlling quantify and limiting chaos. Of course one could have as much food as desired, but you didn't see the usual piles of food on a plate. We ate dinner in the Manhattan dining room most nights, and again were pleasantly surprised by the quality, variety, & presentation. The servers were prompt without being pushy, friendly, and efficient. We had dinner one night at Tamarind, an Asian fusion specialty dining room. The food was unique and beautifully presented. The servers were charming and gracious, and the decor in the room itself was stunning and subdued. DINING WARNING: DO NOT GO THE "SPECIAL" once-a-cruise-only dinner at Rudi's. We paid $49./person, which I thought was kind of high. The service was awful. The waiter literally took 30 minutes to come take our order, but the wine steward repeatedly came back even tho no wine was being ordered. The food just ok (certainly no better than the main dining room). When I asked for plain decaf tea, I was told they didn't have any (tho I knew it's plentiful at the buffet upstairs)! Not a great experience, and definitely not worth the money! Again, because this was a specialized cruise, we only went to 2 ports, Curacao & Aruba. Curacao was charming with lots of history. Aruba, tho, seemed dirty and dusty, and not nearly as interesting. In summary: We've been on lots of different cruise lines, and definitely look forward to sailing on Holland America again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We had an Alaskan Cruise on our bucket list to check off so we decided to do it when cruise season opened up to Alaska from Vancouver, BC. We called a cruise travel agent who was very knowledgeable as he had done the cruise twice. He did ... Read More
We had an Alaskan Cruise on our bucket list to check off so we decided to do it when cruise season opened up to Alaska from Vancouver, BC. We called a cruise travel agent who was very knowledgeable as he had done the cruise twice. He did all the recommendations and we inquired about tours and settled in on the whale watching tour in Juneau and the train tour in Skagway... AWESOME!!! The staff were extremely friendly and they remembered our names as well as other tourists. The food at the Lido Buffet was to die for. They changed it up every day and it was so good, never had a buffet that pleased us so much. The gala night in the Manhattan Dining Room was the best food ever. They had two gala nights and again, service was exquisite and the food was second to none. The Lido pool was great, they would retract the roof when it was warm and sunny. Oddly enough, in our whole 7 day trip, we only had one bad morning of heavy misty rain in Ketchikan but it became sunny in the afternoon. Otherwise, the whole cruise was sunny and rather warm. Even the workers on the cruise ship stated this was not normal, but we're not complaining. LOL ... We had a balcony/veranda suite so we enjoyed sitting outside with our champagne and wine and just watching the beautiful scenery. Amazing is all I can say. The trip through Glacier Bay was something to die for. The cruise ship stopped so that we could see falling ice chunks from the glaciers falling in the sea... every time it happened, all passengers oohed and ahhhhed like us. We'd do this trip again in a heartbeat. The STAFF were phenomenal...extremely friendly, we can't say enough about them! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
My family and I went on our first Holland America Cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam for the 4/2/17-4/9/17 Western Caribbean cruise. We were booked in a Neptune Suite. Check in went smoothly with a slight delay on boarding due to a large ... Read More
My family and I went on our first Holland America Cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam for the 4/2/17-4/9/17 Western Caribbean cruise. We were booked in a Neptune Suite. Check in went smoothly with a slight delay on boarding due to a large amount of cruisers who stayed on board from the previous cruise needing to be cleared by customs. Our room was ready when we boarded and we found the room was great, with lots of space for our family of four and a spacious balcony to enjoy. We found all the workers to be great, friendly and helpful. We had reserved a cabana on the Lido Pool deck and it was perfect to have our own space while the kids swam, and the cabana service was top notch. Food was good in the dining room, lido, and we enjoyed Tamarind and the Pinnacle Grill, both were excellent. We booked all of our excursions though Holland America prior to the cruise. On Half Moon Cay we booked a cabana and cabana service, again excellent service by our server Daniel. On Grand Cayman we did a trolley ride around the Island and enjoyed that as well. Everything had been great up to this point. For Cozumel we booked an excursion through Holland America called La Casa en la Playa: A Special Retreat. My family (My husband and two children)and I were placed into a Taxi Van with 2 other couples from our ship to be taken over for our excursion. This taxi only had a few working seat belts and car batteries and other debris all throughout. We were driving down the highway when we were involved in a significant car accident. This is where our trip went down hill. The injuries from the accident ruined the rest of our trip. We were seen by medical on board, but I feel like the staff were only looking out for Holland America's protection instead of my best interest and care as their patient. We were sent flowers by Holland America Guest Relations manager Melanie, and assured SEVERAL times that we were under Holland America's care and insurance at the time of the accident since it was their excursion, and not to worry that all my medical bills post cruise would be covered. Not only did this turn out to be false, but we have felt ignored and dismissed since we disembarked. It took almost 6 weeks for someone to even respond to our inquiry on who to speak with in regards to our medical bills, and then we were told it was not Holland America's responsibility at all, that it would be the excursion companies responsibility. To say that I'm disappointed by the lack of customer service or concern during all this is an understatement. Prior to this incident I was ready to book another cruise on the spot with Holland America, but now I'm so disappointed in their lack of concern or care for their customer's, that I will not be sailing with them again. Our once a year family vacation was ruined, and we are not only out the money we spent on the cruise that we didn't get to enjoy, but we are also out the money we spent on the drink packages that went unused after the wreck, and out a ton of money in medical bills, with no one taking responsibility. We would say cruising with them is fine, but we would say avoid booking excursions directly through them and don't expect much in the form of customer service from them. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We enjoyed the laid back and relaxing atmosphere on this ship. Food was great all around including whether at buffet dining or fine dining, it was all fresh, good quality and selection. Room was spacious and had lots of room for clothes in ... Read More
We enjoyed the laid back and relaxing atmosphere on this ship. Food was great all around including whether at buffet dining or fine dining, it was all fresh, good quality and selection. Room was spacious and had lots of room for clothes in large wardrobe closet by entry door. BB King blues band was great as well as some comedians, etc. at theatre shows. Would not hesitate to cruise with Holland America again, other cruises will have to up their quality to meet this ships dining and blues band! Our room attendant Rudy was great and a character. Servers and staff were friendly and personable and quick to attend to things as required. Only downside was embarkation and disembarkation was a lot of waiting, maybe HAL should look at Princess Cruises which we took out of San Francisco for timely boarding and disembarking without the long lines or waits, about only thing I could see as issue with this cruise otherwise more than met our expectations in every regard except the excursions which seemed over priced and automatic gratuity amount seems a tad high but can be adjusted down as required which we did not on this cruise but might in future and give extra cash gratuity to those who truly made our cruise great day in and day out vs sharing with all! I don't think as a couple we have ever paid 27.00 per day (13.50 each) for gratuities when eating out and staying in hotels inc. porters, taxis and waiters etc. Rooms are usually overpriced so do not leave tip! Buffets are serve yourself except maybe drinks or cleanup so only full service is in fine dining room! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Our cruise was booked via Mail Travel/Jetline Cruises on 10th May 2016 for a 14 day cruise with departure on 26th February 2017 with anytime dining. All confirmed – no problem, or so one would think. My wife and I were travelling for ... Read More
Our cruise was booked via Mail Travel/Jetline Cruises on 10th May 2016 for a 14 day cruise with departure on 26th February 2017 with anytime dining. All confirmed – no problem, or so one would think. My wife and I were travelling for the first time with Holland America with two other couples – for one couple it was their first cruise experience. We all started by sitting down in October deciding what trips we wanted to do including jet skis, boat trips etc. These we booked but within a week two of these had been cancelled and another was cancelled a month or two later – good start. Anyway, we got our flights to Miami, stayed at a nice hotel and then travelled down to meet the Nieuw Amsterdam in Fort Lauderdale. Boarding was good, we unpacked and then, feeling hungry, we met up at 7.30 in the bar for a pre-dinner drink. Whist socialising, we noticed there was a very long queue leading to the dining room. We presented ourselves for dinner just after 8pm only to be told that we should have reported for dinner at 5.30. Anytime dining had been cancelled due to the fact that Holland America had taken a bulk booking for 1,000 belonging to an American religious group. Admittedly, the room cards stated that there had been a change of times but does one read their room card as soon as one gets onto the ship? Our group had a half hour stand-off with staff who basically said tough, that’s the way it is. The buffet restaurant had closed and they expected us to pay for a speciality restaurant, or eat in our cabin (six of us – no way!) . Eventually they very begrudgingly agreed for us to eat at a speciality restaurant at their expense. Over the next few days we had several confrontations with staff who were intransigent but eventually weakened and got us into the main restaurant at our required time for a couple of days. However, this really was not the best option as we were siting over two tables and orders were arriving at different times. You may think, reading this, what a lot of wingers – not really as there were a lot of other people who, like us, were not happy with the way we were treated – some very hostile. One couple we spoke to had been on a previous Holland America cruise, had the same block booking problem happen to them, had been given an upgrade in cabin for the cruise we were on, only to find out that exactly the same thing had happened again. We have since heard that Holland America are well known for making these block bookings that affect other individual passengers. At the end of the first week, the religious group left the ship and it was as if a switch had been turned on as the ship came back to life. We suddenly realised that there had been no music in any of the bars, the ship had been like a ghost ship – nobody around after 10pm, hardly any shows, hardly anybody in the casino. I do not have a problem with religious groups going on holiday but what I do have a problem with is if it affects other peoples’ enjoyment and I have to say that Holland America approach was biased completely in favour of that group and against those other passengers who had a wholeweek without a full cruise experience. This review has been held back to see what response my group received from Holland America against our complaint. Basically, they would give a cabin upgrade but as none of our party has any intention of ever setting foot on any Holland America vessel, this was not acceptable. We requested a cash refund which has been rejected out of hand. So be warned, Holland America do not actually care about their individual passengers, they just want their money. Their bias will always be to the block booking so – beware! We shall never travel with Holland America again - it’s back to good old Celebrity and P&O! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
After being on 10 cruises, with 4 different lines, we decided it was time to give Holland American a try. If you wee not over 60, you did not fit in, it is a much older crowd! The food was just like any other, except when it was Gala ... Read More
After being on 10 cruises, with 4 different lines, we decided it was time to give Holland American a try. If you wee not over 60, you did not fit in, it is a much older crowd! The food was just like any other, except when it was Gala night. The surf and turf was excellent. The entertainment was lacking. I don't consider movies entertainment. I never saw an activities director. The activities were card games, bingo, seminars pushing their services, trivia, etc. Now, don't get me wrong, I didn't expect silly pool games and the such, but some music at the pools would of been nice. They also don't push the drinks or the photos as other lines do, but they do have a very nice Happy hour from 4-5pm with the first drink regular price and the second only 2 dollars. The cruise director is very nice, but she needs a new wardrobe...she wore the same dress (which was not a uniform) 3 of the 7 nights! All the crew was very professional and always there to help you with any needs. I'm just not sure this is the right cruise line for my husband and myself! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Overall, the experience on the ship was great! The location that it came from and the ports that it visited is why we did this cruise. The disembarking wasn't organized enough as we ended up waiting in line as we expediated early but ... Read More
Overall, the experience on the ship was great! The location that it came from and the ports that it visited is why we did this cruise. The disembarking wasn't organized enough as we ended up waiting in line as we expediated early but elevators were jammed and they accepted the following people who had later times. This was probably the only major problem we experienced on the cruise. So we ended up leaving much later than we intended to. The entertainment was wonderful. The food was great and also the ship itself was super. Alot of people didn't like the fact that the casino wasn't smoke free. The service was great and prompt. All the staff were friendly and treated us well. I have been on 3 prior cruises on Holland America with the first being in 1981 and enjoyed myself immensely. I would recommend the boat to others especially if they are seniors. lol Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was our 3rd Holland American cruise, the second on this ship. We upgraded to a Signature Suite (room 6063), and loved it. We'd had a Neptune Suite once before, and felt this was more than enough room for two. A big plus was ... Read More
This was our 3rd Holland American cruise, the second on this ship. We upgraded to a Signature Suite (room 6063), and loved it. We'd had a Neptune Suite once before, and felt this was more than enough room for two. A big plus was the location on the ship. I hardly got lost, as it was very central. Embarkation was a breeze. We were group "A" to go on, and our room was ready. Our luggage was already in our room. No complaints with any of the ports. Out of 6 ports, we had only not been to 2 of them, so we were fine going off on our own and doing our own thing. We always take the 8 pm dinner and ask for a table of 6. We have never had a problem with our dinner mates, and this time, we had 4 wonderful people to sit with. We were almost the last table to leave the dining room each night, and I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. We truly enjoyed sitting down for a meal each night with these people and it really added to the enjoyment of our trip. While the food on board is very good, I think it may not be quite as good as other times. The hamburgers at the Dive In are EXCELLENT. Portion size isn't a problem. Had two visits to the Spa and thoroughly enjoyed each. I didn't get bombarded with sales pitches, which can be a problem in any spa. Only asked if I wanted to buy one product the one visit, nothing the first visit. We visited the casino a little too much, and had good and bad nights. That's to be expected, but overall, we didn't feel that we lost too much. My only complaint is the smoking in the casino. One person smoking can ruin it for many others. We left early many times over our 10 day cruise because of the smoking. Time for Holland America to say no smoking. The average age was a little older than other HA cruises we've been on, but we're retired so that wasn't a problem. We don't have children, so a cruise without many kids, for us, is a plus. I think I only saw two the whole cruise. One thing that Holland America excels at is their staff. Always a smile and polite word from each and every one of them. We had a fabulous time and next time we cruise, Holland America will certainly be the first cruise line we look at. We've become faithful to their brand. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
IN MY OPINION DO NOT CRUISE THIS LINE! THERE ARE BETTER CRUISE LINES THAT MAKE SURE THEIR PASSENGERS SAFETY, EXPERIENCE AND RESULTS MORE OF A PRIORITY. We chose this Cruise for the time and areas it went to. We have been on other ... Read More
IN MY OPINION DO NOT CRUISE THIS LINE! THERE ARE BETTER CRUISE LINES THAT MAKE SURE THEIR PASSENGERS SAFETY, EXPERIENCE AND RESULTS MORE OF A PRIORITY. We chose this Cruise for the time and areas it went to. We have been on other Cruises but this was our First Time with Holland America. Bed Linens in cabin had stains on them, food was ok at buffet but they ran out of simple items like bread at breakfast, ice cream at night, etc. Dining room food was good but seating was an issue at times. Entertainment was average to say the least. Excursion desk has poor hours and Excursion write ups are not exactly what they are so be careful what you book or better yet book separately with independent operators as they were cheaper for most things from what we saw at different ports. 2 of the 5 excursions we booked were not as described and also had major safety concerns that were not considered. We found out through Cruise employees that the safety on Jamaica has been an issue and our trip was the first in a while to this area. Well the excursion was not what we paid for and we felt completely unsafe during part of the excursion when we were left for 20 minutes shopping at a scary area of Jamaica. Most people did not want to get off the bus as they were sacred! The second excursion was on the Sting Ray City in high waves causing people to be sick, bang in to each other, having the masks and snorkels ripped off your face, and the whole experience was not enjoyable and we felt unsafe. The funny thing was they cancelled an excursion we had booked for this day due to high winds and safety but sent us out on this one which was worse. The last thing you want to worry about on a trip is your safety, experience and service. I know and have experienced other Cruise lines that do a better job! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I loved all of the port excursions, dining, the cabin we had (a room on the verandah),and the service was amazing. The only thing that I have a complaint about is the activities. I have a 10 year old girl and she didn't really like ... Read More
I loved all of the port excursions, dining, the cabin we had (a room on the verandah),and the service was amazing. The only thing that I have a complaint about is the activities. I have a 10 year old girl and she didn't really like Club HAL, the kids club onboard. So we tried to find activities that would be suitable for all of us to go to. But there was hardly anything on the daily schedule that was either entertaining or interesting to all age groups. Most of the activities seemed to cater seniors only. But overall our trip was good and we enjoyed it. The places we liked most were the Explorations Café and the Showroom at Sea. I would recommend this for people who would like to go on a cruise for relaxation and not for the fun and parties. This may not be cruise for you if you have kids who like to do more than just play trivia. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Nieuw Amsterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.5 3.5
Public Rooms 4.5 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.1

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